How Does “Obamacare” Affect Medical Representatives?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” has vast implications for all aspects of the healthcare industry and profession. ACA, signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, seeks to expand healthcare coverage and reduce overall healthcare costs for millions of Americans. The law uses a complex system of mandates, subsidies, and tax credits to achieve its goals.

Obamacare and the Pharma Rep

One of the benefactors of increased coverage is the pharmaceutical industry. Because more patients will have access to low cost medication, sales for pharmaceuticals should increase under Affordable Care Act. Arthur Daemmrich, an assistant professor of Harvard Business School, published a paper in 2011 which predicts that by 2015, pharmaceuticals sales will hit $450 billion, or 12.5% of total healthcare costs. By 2020, Daemmrich predicts sales will reach $700 billion, or 14% of total costs.

This growth in sales will mean that pharmaceutical representatives will be in even more demand that than are now. Pay and benefits packages will probably only increase between now and 2020 as drug companies must compete to attract the best talent available.

Obamacare and the Medical Device Rep

The medical device industry may not fair as well as the pharmaceutical industry. Obamacare imposes a 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales, which will go into effect Jan 1, 2014. Because of the exorbitant cost of medical devices, this will be no small bill to pay. Medical device sales reps should be aware of this impending restriction on their sales.

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